Texas vs. Oklahoma State: Why a Win Will Put Cowboys Back in Top 25

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 29, 2012

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08:  Quarterback Wes Lunt #11 (C) of the Oklahoma State Cowboys walks with teammates back to the locker room following the first half of the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Three games into the 2012 season, we're still trying to figure out exactly what kind of team Oklahoma State has this year.

In the Cowboys' games against Savannah State and Louisiana-Lafayette, the team put on dominant performances, scoring a combined 149 points while allowing just 24 in the process.

Despite those gaudy numbers, in Oklahoma State's only game against a traditionally strong college football program to date, Mike Gundy's squad was manhandled by Arizona and lost 59-38 in an absolute shootout.

Now, with the Cowboys set to face No. 12 Texas on Saturday night, hopefully we'll have a much better idea of whether Oklahoma State is anything more than a team capable of putting up big numbers against inferior competition.

Despite the embarrassing loss to the Wildcats, which saw Oklahoma State allow 636 yards of total offense, if the Cowboys can notch their first win over an impressive opponent on Saturday, they'll be back in the Top 25 by Monday morning.

In Texas, the Cowboys will be facing a legitimate BCS bowl contender, as the Longhorns have thoroughly outclassed their first three opponents, winning by at least 20 points in each game thus far.

However, an upset might not be out of the question.

That's because while Texas is obviously very talented, the Longhorns haven't faced an elite team yet this season, and with an offense as explosive as the Cowboys', there's no telling how Mack Brown's boys will respond, especially on the road in Stillwater.

There are some factors working in Texas' favor, such as the Cowboys' quarterback situation, which is uncertain at best heading into today's game.

Last weekend, in the team's win over Louisiana-Lafayette, starter Wes Lunt left the game just six plays in with a knee injury, and although backup J.W. Walsh performed exceptionally well in his absence, if Lunt's healthy, he'll play.

On Friday, Sports Illustrated reported that Gundy was remaining silent on who his quarterback would be for arguably his team's most important game of the season and "claimed it wouldn't make any difference to Texas which quarterback played."

Regardless of whether Lunt is able to play, Walsh could lead the Cowboys to an upset, as he set a school record for total offense, throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for a fifth.

Either way, the Cowboys have the offense to knock down a longtime powerhouse in Texas, and if the defense can keep the Longhorns at bay, they'll march back into the Top 25.

They've got the numbers, as they've averaged over 60 points a game.

Now they just need a signature win over a perennial contender to reclaim their position among college football's elite.